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BHUSD Parents Reflect on School Security

In the wake of the tragic shooting spree at a Connecticut elementary school Friday, Beverly Hills parents are re-evaluating district safety.

Security at Beverly Hills Unified School District schools may come under review after Friday’s shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that took the lives of 20 children. 

"My phone has been ringing off the hook all day with parents asking about school security," Board of Education member Brian Goldberg told Patch. "We have a security plan in place, but unfortunately when a mentally ill person decides to go on a rampage you can't prepare for that."

BHUSD Superintendent Gary Woods received so many queries that he sent a statement via email to all district parents outlining the steps the schools take to maintain safety of students and staff.

The Beverly Hills Police Department already regularly patrols the five city schools and they will be asked to "step up their patrols" in coming weeks, Goldberg said.

Still, parents are asking if more should be done.

"In light of the terrible tragedy at the Connecticut school [Friday], should we as a community be reviewing our school security, drop-off and pick-up practices and re-evaluating our relatively open campus?” BHUSD parent Lisa Primavera asked fellow Horace Mann PTA members. “I worry about copy-cat events in the weeks to come.”

The Connecticut tragedy may revive talk about installing a security fence around the perimeter of Beverly Hills High School. The Board of Education voted twice in 2011 to erect the fence, but the plans were abandoned after costs for the fence escalated. Moreover, some parents opposed the fence because they worried it could interfere with the annual outdoor graduation on BHHS grounds.

The open nature of the district's campuses has led to some security scares in recent years. The idea to fence in BHHS arose after a December 2010 incident in which a 28-year-old male walked into an early morning class and sat there for a few minutes until a student notified school security. 

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George Vreeland Hill December 16, 2012 at 08:53 AM
What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut is yet another reminder that guns and people do not mix. I have written many, many letters, articles, blogs and whatever over the years about guns, the NRA, the killings of countless innocent people and shootings at schools. Guns MUST be banned. The NRA has often said that "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." That is BS. People use guns to kill other people and they have done so in record numbers. Society is out of control when it comes to violence and guns are a major part of the problem. Gun owners and the NRA always use the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Bill of Rights as proof of their "right" to bear arms. The Second Amendment is outdated and assault weapons and other like weapons have no place in society. Such weapons are only used to kill people. We the majority of the people have had enough of gun violence and the deaths of so many innocent people including children because of guns. The NRA needs to shut up because the people's right to be free from gun violence far outweighs the right to bear arms. If (God forbid) your child becomes another shooting victim, I'm sure you will agree. George Vreeland Hill

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